Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA's radio magazine in SpecialEnglish.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
Play some songs nominated for a Grammy Award ...
Answer a question about the Mormons ...
and report about a center for people who want to become writers.
One of America's first and best known educational centers forwriters recently celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. Thousandsof people in the Washington, D.C., area have attended classes atthis creative gathering place. Shep O'Neal tells us more.
It is seven o'clock on a winter evening. People are entering theWriter's Center headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. These peopleinclude doctors, lawyers and teachers. Some of the people areretired from their jobs. Others are very young. They all want tobecome successful writers. They are working on books, short stories,dramas, films or poems.
These people have brought their work to be read and discussedduring Writer's Center workshop meetings. A successful writer orfilmmaker leads the meetings.
Before the students leave their classes tonight, they will knowmore about their creative efforts. Has their writing captured theinterest of others in the workshop? Do some parts need improvement?Is there a chance their work might be published?
p>The Writer's Center opened in Nineteen-Seventy-Six, soon afterEnglish professor Al Lefcowitz decided to create it. MisterLefcowitz writes books and plays. He believed that writers needed aplace to gather and share their work and thoughts. Anotheruniversity professor, Jane Fox, soon began to help Mister Lefcowitzestablish the Writer's Center. Under their leadership, it has becomeextremely popular.
The Writer's Center offered only three workshops when it openedtwenty-five years ago. Twenty-seven people attended these classes.They met in a former amusement park. Today, the Writer's Centerprovides sixty-eight workshops. They take place in its Bethesdaheadquarters, and in other places in Maryland and Virginia. Mostpeople attend classes once a week for six or eight weeks. Theclasses continue almost all year.
Some students say criticism of their writing makes them feel bad.Most, however, say they learn a lot. One woman who has taken part inworkshops has published several books. She says she never could havedone this without the help of the Writer's Center.
The Winter Olympic Games end Sunday in Salt Lake City, Utah. SaltLake City is also the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ ofLatter-day Saints. Our VOA listener question this week asks aboutthe Church. It comes from Song Wenjiang in China.MormonTemple
The members of the Church of JesusChrist of Latter-day Saints are known as Mormons. They are calledthis because of their belief in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believetheir Church is the true and complete Church of Jesus Christ onEarth. Mormons say the Christian Church today is not the same as theone established by Christ. They believe that God re-established thatfirst Church in modern times through a man named Joseph Smith.
Mormons recognize the Christian Bible as the word of God. Butthey add three holy books of their own. One is the Book of Mormon.Mormons believe it was given to Joseph Smith by the angel Moroninear Palmyra, New York, in Eighteen-Twenty-Seven. Joseph Smith issaid to have translated the work from an ancient language intoEnglish.
Joseph Smith organized the Mormon Church in Eighteen-Thirty. Itgrew quickly. However, people of other religions did not acceptMormons in the towns where they lived. Mormons were oppressedbecause of their beliefs. So they searched for a place where theycould live in peace and have religious freedom. They moved west, andsettled the area that is now the state of Utah.
Today, about seventy percent of the people who live in Utah areMormons. Their main religious center is the Mormon Temple in SaltLake City. People of other religions are not permitted inside.
Mormons are perhaps best known for their former belief that a manwas permitted to have more than one wife. This tradition was onereason other people would not accept them in the early years of theChurch. However, the Mormon Church rejected this belief inEighteen-Ninety. Today, Mormons attend religious services on Sunday.They spend at least one night a week with their families. Allmembers give the Church ten percent of the money they earn eachyear.
The Mormon Church is established in one-hundred-sixty countriesand territories around the world. Thousands of young men, women andretired people work up to two years in a Mormon missionary programwithout pay. They offer to show people of other religions how tobecome Mormons. Their efforts seem to be successful. The MormonChurch is growing. It now has more than eleven-million membersworldwide.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will presentthe yearly Grammy Awards next Wednesday. Mary Tillotson tells usabout the Grammies and plays three of the songs that have beennominated.
The Grammy Awards recognize excellent musical recordings and themusicians who create them. The award is a small statue. It is shapedlike the early record player called a gramophone. The word "Grammy"is a short way of saying gramophone.
Members of the Recording Academy choose the best work each year.The awards include all kinds of music -- popular, jazz, classical,country and western, rap, and many others.
One of the most important Grammy Awards is for "Record of theYear." Critics say two women are in a very close race among therecords nominated for that award. The first is India Arie for hersong "Video."
((CUT ONE: "VIDEO"))AliciaKeys
The critics say the strongestcompetition for India Arie is Alicia Keys with this song, "Fallin.'"
((CUT TWO: "FALLIN'"))
Songs by India Arie and Alicia Keys are not the only onesnominated for "Record of the Year." Other nominated songs are "Ms.Jackson" by the group OutKast, and "Drops of Jupiter" by the groupTrain. We leave you now with the final song nominated for "Record ofthe Year." It is "Walk On" by U2.
((CUT THREE: "WALK ON"))
This is Doug Johnson . I hope you enjoyed our program today. AndI hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC - VOA'sradio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by George Grow, PaulThompson and Jerilyn Watson. Our studio engineer was Tom Verba. Andour producer was Paul Thompson.